The European Commission has revealed the names of the six cities that have made it to the shortlist for the prestigious 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism award. This distinguished accolade will be bestowed upon the city that demonstrates an exceptional commitment to shaping the future of sustainable and innovative tourism. The award also seeks to promote networking, strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practices in the field of tourism.
From a pool of 30 candidates spanning 17 countries, the selected finalists for the European Capital of Smart Tourism, listed in alphabetical order, are Bremerhaven (Germany), Cork (Ireland), Dublin (Ireland), Genoa (Italy), Helsingborg (Sweden), and San Sebastián (Spain).
The shortlist for the 2024 finalists now includes six destinations, expanded from the initially mentioned four, due to a tie in the scoring. Essen (Germany), Gdynia (Poland), Odense (Denmark), Padua (Italy), and Parma (Italy) have been designated as runner-up cities.
In the next stage of the competition, the finalists will have the opportunity to present their proposals to a European Jury, responsible for selecting the 2024 European Capital of Smart Tourism. The chosen city will receive comprehensive support in terms of communication and branding. This support includes the creation of a promotional video, installation of a hashtag sculpture for public display in the city, and the implementation of tailor-made promotional campaigns aimed at enhancing visibility at both the EU and global levels, ultimately resulting in an increase in visitor numbers.
The European Capital of Smart Tourism competition, initiated in 2018, serves as a platform to showcase outstanding practices and achievements in tourism. Previous winners of this accolade include Seville and Pafos (2023), València and Bordeaux (2022), Málaga and Gothenburg (2020), and Helsinki and Lyon (2019). These cities have emerged as exemplary models for smart tourism in Europe, earning prominent international recognition for their commitment to sustainability, innovation, quality of life, and effective implementation of smart strategies.